How To Chain Stitch Embroidery

Embroidery is the art of using a thread or yarn to create decorative patterns on your fabric. It adds pizzazz to your fabric and makes it come out better. 

There are several techniques to apply embroidery to clothes such as chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, satin stitch, satin stitch and cross-stitch. However, the scope of this article is mainly on the chain stitch.

Chain stitch is a sewing method in which a series of stitches resembling a chain-like pattern. Several sewing professionals widely use it for filling in shapes, outlining, making curves, and spirals in fabric. This article contains detailed instructions on how to make a chain stitch embroidery. 

How to Chain Stitch Embroidery

Firstly make a small stitch, then come back through the fabric near your stitch. Secondly, loop the thread through the first stitch and come about through the material below your stitch. Thirdly, Loop the thread through the previous link. Then repeat as much as possible. Read through to learn about the chain stitch.

What Do You Need to Make a Chain Stitch Embroidery?

To make things easier for you, I recommend you get a hoop; a hoop serves as a frame to balance your fabric and hold it tight. This will help you get nice stitches and prevent your material from wrinkling in the stitching area.

It would also be best if you had an embroidery needle and embroidery floss (or thread). The embroidery needle must have a large eye to accommodate the width of the line.

For the thread, there are several types of embroidery floss you could use. The number of strands is the basis for categorizing embroidery floss. A sewing professional chooses their embroidery floss depending on the type of design.

Moreover, you should consider two main things before choosing an embroidery thread: the size of the stitch and the fabric’s weight.

Steps to Chain Stitch Embroidery

The technique of embroidery dates back to hundreds of years ago when it was used to make beautiful and artistic designs on clothes, ornaments among other things. There are different types of embroidery with each one serving its own purpose while also giving an attractive look to your fabric. This article will brief you on the steps involved in making a particular type of embroidery called the chain stitch embroidery.

Step 1: Thread your needle

It is common practice to thread your embroidery thread singularly. It might not be easy to pass a thick thread through the needle’s eye, so I recommend using a needle threader to make it easier for you.

From the wrong side of the fabric, insert your needle, letting it come out at the right side where you want your design to start from. Leave a tail at the back to catch in later so that the end is coming out beautifully. Afterwards, tie a knot or use tape to secure down the tail so you can go about your stitching without disturbance.

Step 2: Make a stitch

The next step is to start making stitches. From the right side for the fabric, insert the needle at the next point where you would begin your stitch. It must be close to the point where the needle came out from the right side of your fabric.

From the fabric’s left side, insert the needle at a new point a small distance from the first two points to complete your first stitch.

Step 3: Anchor and repeat

Pull the embroidery floss so that it acts as an anchor for the next stitch. Then make another stitch. Then, create new chains as you insert the needle into the previous chain’s space next to where the last insert was made.

Afterwards, wrap your thread around the needle to form the next chain. Make your chain straight or curved, depending on how you want your design to be.

The steps highlighted above will guide you even as a newbie to make a sturdy chain stitch embroidery without any hassle. Ensure to follow all the steps listed.

Tips for Making a Chain Stitch

  1. As you make your stitches on your fabric, don’t pull too much. Stretching too much would make your fabric wrinkle and mess up the chain stitches.
  2. .Maintain perfect control over your stitches by holding each stitch with your hand. This gives your stitches an ideal size and shape.
  3. Ensure that your stitches remain the same size by minding the gap you leave between each stitch. This makes your stitches look evenly.
  4. In case you make any mistakes, you can quickly unravel your stitches and start again.

In conclusion, that’s all of the necessary information you need to make a chain stitch. As you can see, you can make it with minimal stress and it isn’t time-consuming.

Types of Chain Stitch Embroidery

There are many variations of the chain stitch. Here are some of them:

Detached Chain stitch

Another name for this stitch is the lazy daisy stitch. A straight line secures the single chain stitch. Hence, lazy daisy because of the flower formed when many single stitches create a petal around a point. Making a lazy daisy stitch is relatively easy; all you need to do is create a single chain stitch and use a straight stitch to hold the loop in place. Afterwards, make the flower to your taste.

Checkered chain stitch

This chain stitch uses two threads of contrasting colours to make chain stitches over a foundation row of straight stitches.

Open chain stitch is the ladder stitch, roman chain stitch, and square chain stitch. It has excellent uses in pinning down threads and ribbons.

Cable chain stitch

This stitch gets its name from the cable connections between the loops formed by twisting the thread between the chain stitches. When done correctly, it looks like a cable chain.

Whipped chain stitch 

You can use this when you want a thick chain stitch. They are made on the chain stitched line. Your Whipped chain stitches can also be made with thick threads.

Chain stitch- backstitch

 Use this type of chain stitch when you need a thick outline. A line of backstitch is done in the middle of the chain stitch with the same coloured or contrasting thread.

Twisted chain stitch

The chain stitches are done to the left side of the stitching line, which gives the line an attractive appearance.

Zigzag chain stitch

 In this stitch, chain stitches appear up and down alternatively. When you finish the line, you will get a nice zigzag line.

Chain stitch (filling)

This chain stitch can be used to fill a design beautifully. Start stitching the outline of the design. Also, make a neat outline, and you are almost set for beautiful work. 

Chain stitch overlapping 

This is a combination of two chain stitches placed over one another.

Alternating chain stitch

This chain stitch uses threads of different colours. Hence, you will have to make use of two needles threaded with other threads at the same time.

Several other variations are:

  • Chain stitch double variation
  • Chain stitch double alternating
  • Butterfly chain stitch
  • Rosette chain stitch
  • Wheat ear chain stitch

Related Questions

What materials should I use for embroidery?

As a rule, natural woven fabrics are usually best for hand embroidery techniques. Choose from cotton, wool, linen, or silk for your background and select the appropriate thread-count for your style and threads. Make sure you prepare the fabric properly.

How to prepare your fabric for embroidery

For this reason, run around the edge of your fabric with your serger if you have one, or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

Also, iron your fabric correctly before you transfer your design. Your stitches will be more accurate. Moreover, you’ll achieve a much more excellent result than if you try to embroider creased or crumpled fabric.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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